PM Claims Jharkhand Has Ended Migration, Surveys Say Otherwise

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Bhubaneswar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi told people at his Sundargarh rally on Saturday that the BJP government in neighbouring Jharkhand had managed to stop migration from the state because of all-round development and creation of employment opportunities, but surveys and figures seem to indicate otherwise.

Did he mislead the people by saying that a double-engine BJP government in the state and at the Centre can bring fast-paced development to Odisha?

Modi took the example of both Jharkhand and Chhatisgarh — two states which enjoyed a double-engine government for years. Studies, however, suggest that the socio-economic parameters in these two states are no better than that in non-BJP ruled ones.

The BJP has ruled Jharkhand for 14 years in one form or the other in the 20 years of the state’s existence. The economic survey of 2017, however, reveals that more than five per cent of the working age population migrated annually to other states in search of better employment opportunities.

“The net outflow of the working age population is the highest among the states in the country,” it said.

According to Indian Social Institute, a Delhi-based research and advocacy cenrtre, 54.78 per cent girls and women who shifted from Jharkhand to Delhi are working as housemaids. Of these, 70 per cent had to migrate before the age of 18, and two-third of them could not marry because of the nature of their work.

BetterPlace, a blue collar employee lifecycle management firm, in its latest report said that a good number of 2.5 lakh drivers in Bengaluru hail from Jharkhand.

Figures also counter the Prime Minister’s claim of creation of employment opportunities. The Indian Labour & Employment Report 2014, prepared by the Institute for Human Development, puts Jharkhand at sixteenth position in the country on the Employment Situation Index.

The signs are not very encouraging in Chhattisgarh either. A BJP government led by Raman Singh ruled the state for three consecutive terms.

As per a government report, close to one lakh people in rural areas had left homes in search of livelihoods in other states. Most of them migrated to Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir and neighbouring Madhya Pardesh mainly to work as construction workers and at brick kilns.

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